Wolf, Duckworth win opening-round matches at San Diego Open

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SAN DIEGO — No. 8 seed J.J. Wolf, coming off a third-round run at the U.S. Open, beat fellow American Stefan Kozlov 6-2, 7-6 (6) in the opening round of the San Diego Open ATP 250.

They had faced each other seven times in Challenger and Futures events but this was their first encounter at the tour level.

“I’ve never been seeded before at an ATP tournament, so I’ve got to feel good about it,” said Wolf, 23, who earlier this month stunned 18th-ranked Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets at the U.S. Open. “I think I’m still getting used to playing night matches. They’re so special. I think I remember everyone I’ve played at night just because of the environment. Everybody is relaxed and having a good time, so I came out in a good mindset.”

Seventh seed James Duckworth claimed an all-Australian battle against Alexei Popyrin, winning, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 to cap a 2-hour, 17-minute match that he capped with his 14th ace of the afternoon. The 30-year-old improved to 2-0 against Popyrin, having also prevailed last year in the Round of 16 at the ATP Masters 1000 Paris.

Frenchman Constant Lestienne held on to defeat former USC standout Brandon Holt 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3, in 2:42. Holt is the son of Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, who watched from courtside.

Tomas Martin Etcheverry was a 7-6 (6), 6-3 winner over countryman Facundo Mena.

Top-seeded Sakkari reaches semifinals at Parma Ladies Open

Maria Sakkari
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PARMA, Italy — Top-seeded Maria Sakkari rallied past 97th-ranked Maryna Zanevska 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday at the Parma Ladies Open to reach her first semifinal since the grass-court season.

Sakkari, who has gone three sets in all three of her matches this week, will face Danka Kovinic for a spot in the final of the clay-court event after Kovinic beat Jasmine Paolini 6-4, 6-4.

In her previous semifinal, Sakkari lost to Belinda Bencic in Berlin in June. The seventh-ranked Greek player was eliminated by Wang Xiyu in the second round of the U.S. Open on Aug. 31.

In the bottom half of the draw, Mayar Sherif of Egypt beat American opponent Lauren Davis 7-6 (2), 6-3 to reach her second career semifinal. Sherif next faces Ana Bogdan, who defeated fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-2, 7-6 (6).

Sakkari through to Parma Open quarterfinals; Stephens loses

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PARMA, Italy — Top-seeded Maria Sakkari rallied past Arantxa Rus 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Parma Ladies Open.

Sakkari, who accepted a late wild card to the red clay court tournament, was playing her first event since losing to Wang Xiyu in the second round of the U.S. Open.

The Greek player will next face Maryna Zanevska of Belgium after she eased past Dalma Galfi 6-1, 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Sloane Stephens of the United States, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, lost to Danka Kovinic 7-5, 2-6, 7-5.

Kovinic will face Jasmine Paolini in the quarterfinals after the Italian defeated compatriot Elisabetta Cocciaretto 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

There will be an American in the final eight, however, as Lauren Davis rallied to beat Sara Sorribes Tormo 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. Sorribes Tormo had eliminated second-seeded Martina Trevisan in straight sets in the opening round.

Davis will play Mayar Sherif after the Egyptian player defeated Simona Waltert 6-3, 7-6 (1).

Also, third-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania eased past Italian wild card Matilde Paoletti 6-4, 6-4 to set up a quarterfinal against sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan, who beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.